Tag Archives: Chocolate

Trick or Treat Cupcakes

The title of these cupcakes is a little deceiving as the cupcakes should actually be called Trick and Treat cupcakes.  The play on words came about when I wanted an alternative to the usual vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing that I use as my go to recipe.  I decided that as it’s October I should get some of the warming spices out of the cupboards and decided to add some cinnamon to my cupcake batter which is where the trick comes in to play.

Halloween Cupcakes

What’s really lovely about the flavour of the cake is that the cinnamon isn’t an overpowering flavour, in fact you don’t really get the hit of it until you’re ready to take your next bite when you realise that the chocolate and vanilla taste has faded and you’re left with the warming aromatic taste of cinnamon.  I’ve provided my basic recipe below, I use this as the base of all of my cupcakes and it hasn’t failed me yet.  The recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes (I use muffin cases)

240g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
120ml whole milk
120g unsalted butter (I use stork)
200g  sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 180°c.

Place paper cake liners in a 12-cup muffin pan (you may need to use this again)

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Place the milk in a small bowl and stir in the vanilla.

By hand or using a mixer which is my preferred method, beat the butter and  sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until the batter is light and creamy, and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition.

Add the flour alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

Using an ice-cream scoop or a spoon fill the cake liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top of the cakes springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the cakes comes out free of cake mix.

Let the cupcakes cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

The cakes are topped with chocolate buttercream and decorated with Halloween sprinkles and orange smarties.

Halloween Cupcakes

Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

beetroot brownies


I’ve been experimenting with vegetables in cakes and sweet treats for years now and Beetroot is always a favourite of mine to use as it adds a special sweetness and earthy flavour to a dish.  I have so many different recipes for Chocolate Beetroot Brownies and never seem to use the same one twice.  Sometimes I like to ice brownies, sometimes I like to add different types of chocolate and sometimes I like to keep them plain.

This recipe is adapted from a River Cottage version, I like to use dark and milk chocolate and golden caster sugar.  My brownies seem to take longer than Hugh’s version but that could be down to my cake tin as it’s not as wide as the one suggested.

You will need:

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g 70% dark chocolate and 100g good quality milk chocolate broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated.  I used mixed beetroot so I had one purple and one pink.



Grease and line a baking tin, I use a square 20cm tin.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water until the chocolate and butter start to melt.  One melting has started stir until everything has mixed together and there are no lumps,

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot until everything is mixed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. If the mixture is still runny pop back in for a 5 min intervals and keep checking for firmness.  Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.



The end result is a very moist brownie that will last for 4 days if you can keep them that long!

Fresh Week Day 3


Today marks day 3 of fresh week.  This evenings meal included an experiment using the Tefal Actifry and Chocolate cupcakes!

kale chips

I love Kale and I love Kale Chips, if you have never tried them before you really should give them a go!  Usually I bake my Kale in the oven until crisp but today I decided to make them in the Tefal Actifry.  I used half the amount of oil I would usually put on the Kale if baked in the oven and although the Kale was not as crispy it still tasted amazing!


Dinner this evening was Roast Chicken (skin removed) boiled rice, Roasted Beetroot, Carrots and Peppers and Baked Kale.


I featured these Chocolate fudge cupcakes last Halloween and because they are so delicious I have decided to write the recipe again.  The cake is light and fluffy and the topping is dark, dense and indulgent.  I usually get around 24 cupcakes or 12 muffin sized cakes from the following recipe.

200g unsalted butter (100g for the topping)

2 large eggs

250ml buttermilk

250g caster sugar

280g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

350g dark chocolate, melted (250g for the topping)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°c and line your cupcake or muffin trays, I used polka dot cases on this occasion.

Combine  softened butter, eggs, sugar and 100g of the melted chocolate in a large bowl or if you’re lazy like me pop it into the food mixer.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into the mixture.

Slowly Pour the buttermilk into the mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes.

I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes life so much easier when spooning the batter into the trays. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

To make the topping:

Put the butter and the chopped chocolate into a bowl over a pan of water and melt slowly until combined and glossy. gradually add icing sugar until the topping becomes firm enough to decorate.

Spoon the topping onto the cupcakes and decorate

If you are taking part in Fresh Week what dishes did you cook today?  There is still time to take part if you would like to, just head over to the Fresh Week website and make your pledge don’t forget you could win a Fresh Express and a Vegetable box!


Every day this week  I will be posting my daily meals and some recipes to give readers inspiration, why not take a look at my fellow Tefal Innovation Panellists pledges?

 Boo, Roo and Tigger TooMother GeekJacintaz3Emmy’s Mummy,Red Rose MummyRomanian MumSeasider In The CityRecipe JunkieCrazy With TwinsAttachment MummyThe Madhouse

*Disclaimer – Although I am a Tefal Innovation panelist my thoughts about fresh week and the Tefal products received are my own and any reviews will be honest and impartial. *

Valentine Champagne Truffles

champagne Truffles

I was recently sent a box of Classic Champagne Truffles from Hotel Chocolat for review purposes, as a chocolate lover I was very excited to receive a valentine treat (I wont be getting one from Mr Gourmand!)


hotel Chocolat

The box that houses the chocolates reminded me of a vintage powder box, I almost expected to lift the lid and find a powder puff and scented body powder.  I have decided that after the chocolates have gone I will be keeping the box to house trinkets as it’s so pretty.


Because I’m currently pregnant and have been avoiding alcohol for the past 8 months it was nice to be able to have the Champagne flavour without the worry of the alcohol.  Champagne is usually classed as an indulgent drink and these chocolates are no different, once you pop one into your mouth it just oozes luxury.

The 200g box houses 16 chocolates which are very delicate in flavour with a very light and creamy texture.  After popping the first chocolate and devouring in record speed I decided to take my time with the rest of the box and went through a few different tasting techniques for my own entertainment which included licking off the icing sugar first and trying to lick the ganache before eating the chocolate neither of these techniques made any difference to the flavour but provided allowed me to eat the chocolates slower (16 chocolates are never enough for a pregnant chocolate addict)


I love the crack when you bite into a truffle and the way your tongue feels when the flavour hits it, I’ve never been able to recreate this at home when I make my own truffles but in all honesty who needs to when you can buy such delicious chocolates   I do find a truffle  to be like romance on the palate and this is exactly what a valentine present should be like, in my humble opinion this is the perfect gift to give to a loved one.

The box of Champagne Truffles was a real treat for me and something I would love to receive not only for valentines day but for my Birthday, Christmas or as a post baby gift hint hint!

The 200g box of Champagne Truffles are available from Hotel Chocolat for £20.o0

I was sent this item for review purposes however this does not affect my opinion, as always I have been completely honest in my review!

Chocolate and Lavender Scones

The Family Gourmand are all huge chocolate lovers, we also love Lavender so what better than chocolate and Lavender scones?  I’ve used lavender in my cupcakes in the past and thought I’d try it out in scones.

To make about 6 – 8 scones you will need: 225g self-raising flour, pinch of salt, 75 g of butter, 40 g of golden caster sugar, 1 Large Egg, 2 Tablespoon Milk, Chocolate (I don’t weigh this I usually add a medium size bar, 1 Teaspoon of Lavender chopped, Egg Wash.

Begin by sifting 225 g of self-raising flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add 75 g of room temperature butter, cut into small lumps. Lightly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

 Add 40 g of golden caster sugar and mix in.

In a jug, beat one large egg together with 2 Tablespoons milk and start to add it to the rubbed-in mixture.

Mix together with a knife, when it begins to come together, finish it off with your hands. Add the chocolate and lavender and mix well.

The dough should come together and leave the sides of the bowl clean.

Shape the dough into a round and place it on a lightly floured surface. Flour the rolling pin and lightly roll out the dough to no thinner than 1 inch thick..

I use a Large Wine glass to cut out my scones as it gives a great shape but you can use a 2 inch round cutter to cut out the scones.

Place the scones on a lightly greased baking tray that has been dusted with flour. Brush them lightly with a little egg wash then dust with flour. Bake in a hot oven 220°C for 10-12 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown, then remove them to a wire rack to cool.


If you are a regular reader of my blog you will be aware that I am greedy, very greedy, I live breathe and eat food in all forms so you can imagine my delight when browsing a local based artisan online store when I came across a subscription box for food lovers!

If you read my lifestyle blog Madame G’s Lifestyle you will know that I subscribe to a variety of beauty boxes, each month is like your birthday when a box of treats arrives, makeup you can put on your face which is all well and good but food is where its at at this box had me squealing with delight!

A couple of days after ordering, my first box arrived on my doorstep (pictured above) There was a personalised envelope which contained information about the brands in my box.

Davenport’s Chocolates were the first item to be pulled out.  I’ve never tried anything from this brand before but I have heard a lot of good things so I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Next out was tea from The Teashed, I adore the packaging of these teabags, no boring boxes here!

I adore Ras-E-Hanout so was over the moon to pull out a very large packet of it!

Can you honestly think of anything better than Toffee Apple Jam?  I can’t actually wait to open this, I have so many ideas of how to use it!

Finally a bottle of rosemary infused rapeseed oil.

I am so happy with this box of treats, I can’t actually wait for next month!

If you want to try a box for yourself there are a couple of options, £19.95 gets you a monthly subscription, you can cancel at any time and £99 gets you a six month subscription making the boxes work out at £16.50 per box.

You can sign up here: http://www.thelarderbox.com/